Following on from last years successful ’24 Mobile Photographers Til Christmas’ series and to celebrate the forthcoming festive season and another year in the timeline of Mobiography I have decided to repeat the series and showcase the work, thoughts and insights of 24 talented mobile photographers. Each featured photographer has inspired and supported me in one way or another during the course of the past 2 years and I will be asking them to offer an insight into their photography, to reflect on their year gone by or plans for the coming year ahead.
Each day until Christmas Eve we will be featuring one photographer in a sort of online advent calendar so to speak.
Today’s featured photographer is Brad Puet
The Photo I am Most Proud of is…
“I have the privilege of being both witness and storyteller. Intimacy, trust, and intuition guide my work.”
This is the photo I have chosen for this project. It was taken in June 2014 with my Nokia Lumia 1020. I went on a street session with photojournalist and buddy, Jordan Stead and we shot up Seattle’s historic and tourist attraction, Pike Place Market. As a street photographer, I am drawn to not only urban scenes but to people and their characteristics. This man (to remain anonymous as he didn’t want me to share his name publicly) was watching us and I had watched him watch us for probably a good 5 minutes. I took note and when he decided to light up his pipe, I made my way towards him. Before I was able to get a word out, he immediately said, “Am I worthy for your attention as you take photos of people?” I immediately said of course and asked him to tell me the first funniest story that came to his mind. As with street photography, I feel the shooter should be as much personable and ready to engage and dialogue with people if the time arises. The “funniest story” question was the first that came to mind. I felt it was the right question as he really upheld himself as someone who was quite jovial.
“Well, did you want one that was bathroom related?”
“Sure, whatever you wanted to tell me.”
“I was in Chinatown one day and I really had to take a huge crapper. First of all, you don’t want to take a crap in Chinatown. The bathrooms that are public are real shit-holes, pun and no pun intended mind you. So I knew that I had to be careful of where I was to go and how much time I had before I would be left to crap my pants. I decided that I needed to go into a restauraunt and if I had to, purchase food so that I can take advantage of their fine laboratorial facilities. I walked into restauraunt and was immediately greeted by a fine little Asian woman. She most likely knew what I was there for, but played along. I told her that I’d like to have the honey walnut prawns and she responded with how much and how long it would take. I then kindly asked for the washroom and she asked that I paid for my food first. I paid and proceeded to go to the washroom. This was about 20 minutes. I like to take my time and clean the pipes. Afterward, I made my release and then went out to the front to pick up my food. She smiled and gave me my food and I promptly walked out. I then realized I had forgotten a fork. I went back in and noticed quite the commotion. With my damn luck, I had clogged up the toilet and it began to spill out of the bathroom and into the lobby. No shittin’ ya my friend!”
So you must be thinking why would I choose this photo with that story to submit for the 24 Days before Christmas? This year has been a crazy year for me. The last two years has been crazy for me especially for my photography. The one thing that remains constant and I keep learning along with my growth as a photographer is that once…ONCE, I start to take things to serious, I lose myself in a bad way. I start to have expectations and I start to lose out on moments and it spills outside of my creative world and into my personal and professional life. This man and this story replays in my head every time I start to think to lose myself in a bad way again.
This Christmas and this New Year, I wish you all the best. I wish you the cleanest bathrooms. I wish you a strong commode. I wish you an awesome holiday and a new year free of crap and being clogged up. Love the life you live.